Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A bit of this and that

Bit of a catch-up today! I have been tagged by a few bloggy friends. I am sorry to be so hopeless. I find tags impossibly complicated so I'm going to cheat and cherry pick my questions and muddle them all together!
First up Dulwich Mum and the eightsome tag! No blank spaces here DM, just missing questions!
1. Things you are looking forward to
i)The school holidays!! Only 9 more school run days to go and we're all free for 8 weeks! Hurrah!
ii) The next Little Vintage Lover Fair on August 2nd- this time at Heydon village hall which is a lovely venue and we are looking forward to a really fun day!
iii) Seeing what seeds come up in the garden - we threw them around a bit late this year so it's been fun seeing which flowers have been the most forgiving!
2) Things you did yesterday - should I remember??? Did I show you this scrummy little glass vase I bought? So perfect now that the sweet peas need to be cut every day.
And also thank-you to Bluebell and Rosie, I've cherry-picked a few from your tag too.
1. Coffee or Tea - well, morning coffee and afternoon tea of course!
2. What are you listening to right now - as I'm in the workroom it's usually an Audio book. I get the huge packs of CD's from the library - I love the luxury of an unabridged audio book - they sometimes just take over and follow me from the workroom to the kitschen to the car... this week's listening is Gallow's Thief by Bernard Cornwell. I am a HUGE fan of Bernard Cornwell but particularly when I can listen to one of his books being read by Richard Armitage - I think that would be my desert Island luxury. Sadly this book is not a Richard Armitage reading but still excellent nonetheless!
A bit of rip-roaring boys own stuff! Love it.
Love these book jackets too. More finds with their dust jackets intact. Beautiful pictures all, oddly, with a nautical theme. Must have been that kind of a day!
I found this recently too. It was full of old pennies and the container was incidental to the sale...
at least it was for the seller and the beautiful boy who has snaffled all the pennies... but I'm very happy with the container!
OOps! Meandered a bit there! Last tag question then....
3) Do you collect anything? ....Hmmmm. I should edit this one really to 'Is there anything you don't collect?" which might be a shorter answer! Instead I have had a big tidy-up over on my Flickr pages. I've sorted all my old pics into much more helpful sets; baking, china and glass, the kitschen etc..
This is a little mosaic from my Vintage Haberdashery set. I know, there are a few vintage beads in there, but I didn't know where else to put them so, as they live in glass jars with my buttons, they ended up in haberdashery!
1.Button play., 2. Blues, 3. Good button hunting!, 4. Vintage needles, 5. Useful bits and bobs, 6. The lovely glass hearts, 7. All tidy, 8. Buttons tin, 9. Button storage

And last but by no means least, a 'One Lovely Blog' award from Buttons and Flowers. Thank-you kindly!
That's all for today. I'm off to meet Mrs Bobobun again today at a lovely tea shop in the city. Lots of exciting things going on which we'll be able to tell you all about soon! t.x

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A very English Day.

Well what a treat we enjoyed today! Our neighbours invited us to join them and their Vintage Cycle Club friends for a ride to our local fete. But first we were all treated to a preview of their latest renovation! Their home is a complex of 1940's air force buildings which were built during World War II and comprised the dorms and hospital for Shipdham Airfield.
Their latest renovation is a most exciting project. All being completed in authentic 1940's style ready to be used for Garden and Horticultural Skills Workshops! Mr Doubleday, our friend, has worked as a professional grower and gardener for over 50 years and so the likes of us will be sure to gain an extreme step forward from even one days workshop!
But as if that were not enough, on completion of a course you gain access to the beautiful club room for on-going inspiration and support. Hubby is already keen to book himself onto the first workshops!
The site alone is an inspiration. Many buildings remain preserved but un-renovated. It is redolent of the history wrapped up in this area.
All covered over with beautiful English roses.
This is where Mr and Mrs Doubleday live. The first building to be renovated.
You can imagine I LoVE that ice-cream blue paintwork and the garden is, as you might expect, an English haven...
Delphniums, Hollyhocks, Lavender and Roses, just as you would want around a cottage window.
And inside the nostalgia continues... a quick peek? I thought you might want one..
I am in love with that armchair!
Now, did I mention bikes? Well, there were some very beautiful bikes too. All lovingly restored and maintained...
Although this family rode on a combination of 41 gears between us and our relatively new bikes were probably the tattiest ones there!
and at the fete the sun was shining on a perfect afternoon. Do you spy the Beryl tea-cups used in the village hall? Ah bliss!
Life doesn't get much better than this....
For me the Hardingham Fete is always one of my favourites of the year, not least because of their Flower and Produce Show. These events are a huge love of mine, A garden on a saucer...
Butterfly cakes....
Did you ever see such a fine butterfly cake??
Ripe and luscious fruits picked at their prime and proudly displayed...
Three roses one variety.....
And of course there was a plant stall presenting logistical problems for the long ride home!
And to top it all off, in true English summer style, half way home the heavens opened and we were soaked ....
Well, that's an English summer's day for you. Where would we be if we couldn't talk about the weather!
I hope you have all enjoyed a lovely weekend wherever you are in the world. t.xx

If you would like to know more about the Garden and Horticultural Skills Workshops at Doubleday Nursery which begin in late July this year, you can contact Mr Doubleday on 01362 820007 or email him adoubleday@doubledayandco.co.uk
Another neighbour is about to open her beautiful farmhouse as a Wolsey Lodge, so first class accomodation will be just down the road!
See you in the clubhouse!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Chasing my tail!

Well of course there has been time for some field sale rummaging! I'm never too busy to make time for that! A good haul of Dean classics - many with the original tatty dust jackets I love. Some lovely tins and boxes, and just a few of the linens I've gathered this week. Some of these are already being used!Two lovely pieces of fabric which I shall use for boy projects. We do quite a lot of vintage for boys around here. I don't want a mutiny over the florals!
Another lucite brooch for my collection - this one was 70p which I thought was ok but still not as good as 10p...
A very lovely old pram - I bought this with a friend in mind and so it is already on it's way to a new home where it will be made to look just incredible I am sure - I shall let my friend post about it when she has worked her magic one day!
You remember the garden set we only just got around to renovating having bought it at auction a couple of years ago?
Well somehow another beautiful old bench has found it's way up the garden and this one needs quite a bit more work! But meanwhile I think it looks just gorgeously elegant the way it is!
And I thought I'd share with you a few irresistable pictures of the home of the Bobobuns!
What a treasure trove! I had a lovely time looking around...
and that chocolate cake was scrummy too!! Have a lovely weekend everyone! t.x

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Open all hours!

Friends have been to lunch for a long overdue catch up!
And they bought me flowers and you know how much I love to be brought flowers!
These luscious lilies finally opened today and there are 9 buds still to come! The scent is intoxicating.
Oh and I've been playing with buttons! Mainly I have been playing with lovely colourful plastic buttons because, lucky lucky me, my new friend came to my rescue and sorted all the tricksy techie stuff which had me beat so that I could have fun with the pretties!!
I have wanted for some time to gain an extra column over there on the right...and to put something pretty in the background for you.
You know what it's like? I go to the html and there's just a sea of incomprehension. I think of this when I am reading with the beautiful boy. Is that how big words look to him?
So, a HUGE thank-you Craig! I am tickled pink with my new playground and I am still having fun decorating!
Oh and I've been busy with my new little shop too! It is finally open for business and it would be lovely if you wanted to pop in for a browse!
Do let me know if you find any hiccups! I can't test for a PC at home and I have done a bit of website re-decorating and Flickr organising too so it's been busy busy here and I might have missed a few things... You will tell me won't you?!
And if you too would like to have an extra column, or to add your very own pretty background then I can vouch for Craig who has the patience of a saint! You can contact him by email;
I have exciting things lined up for the rest of this week; lots of creative busyness, lunch with mums tomorrow (mine and Niki's!) and cake for breakfast with Mrs Bobo Bun! I'm being spoiled! Back soon! t.xxx
P.S. I'm still not sure that I would say that I have seen 'The Sound of Music' .... but I have seen a version which was quite unforgettable! There is something inherently funny about a school made up mainly of boys, performing a play in which the parts are mainly female - many of them Nuns! We had a rip-roaring time! The mountain goat was especially wonderful .... who me? Biased? Never!!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Run for Cover!

A very kind friend has offered to have a go at making some changes to my little blog to give me three columns and add my background pictures! He does not use blogger so it's all a bit experimental.... time for me to go play with real buttons and leave all this html thingummy to an expert! Hopefully back very soon! t.x
(as you can see it's Den season again! My quilts and granny blankets will spend the next few months covered in dry grass and every time I hang out laundry there will be little muddy marks from the pegs! Worth it for the fun the beautiful boy has with his friends!)

I apologise for the complete barren landscape / utter muddle I'm in (delete as appropriate). Friend has done a wonderful job. Now I need to reload everything and get it looking homely again! Hopefully that will be very soon! t.x

Update- almost done now! Thank-you for being so patient and for all your lovely messages! A few more bits and bobs and that's me up and ready to run again! t.xx

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

For the love of a teapot!

I have been known, occasionally, from time to time (ahem) to visit my local sale rooms. I love rummaging around the lots in a general auction. Far more exciting than a fancy antiques sale. And my favourite corner of all is the house clearance corner. Piles of stuff just chucked into boxes and given a lot number. All sorts of tat and clutter and now and then the odd gem!
I bid what I'd pay for the item(s) I actually want rather than the whole box and then I go home. I rarely stay for the actual sale. I just leave a proxy bid and walk away. I know my limitations!
So imagine my delight when I learned I had won my lovely Woods Ware Beryl teapot! You know my love of Utility China (which is not Utility at all, but that's another post!) Except when I arrived to collect my box I hadn't won it at all!
I had won five .....FIVE boxes of stuff! Including a large selection of Beryl china! Hurrah!
It's not always good when this happens. I have been caught out in the past with furniture I couldn't fit in my car or tons of stuff I really had no wish to take home (sometimes house clearance bits can be a bit yeuchy and in need of a clean!)...
But Beryl is settling in very well with Iris and Jasmine! Don't you think? We're all very happy to be together!
And I know you noticed those fabrics..this one is just so vibrant and I first saw it here... and thought - oh I would love to have found that!!
And what do you know? The lovely Mrs BoboBun had bought it just for little old me! Aren't I a lucky girl? And then, completely out of the blue, one of my sisters-in-law surprised me with this wonderful gift!
2 yards of fantabulous vintage cotton flowers! I do love it when people send me flowers!
Thank-you to everyone who has asked to be emailed when my store opens. I am struggling to get that done this week but haven't stopped trying yet! Rest assured if I have you on my list I shall let you know before I open for business!
We are off to the senior school for the summer concert this afternoon - The Sound of Music! Miraculously I have never seen the film so I am looking forward to my first viewing! The beautiful boy is cast as a mountain goat which, I am assured, is a starring role..... t.xx

Friday, 12 June 2009


I won something! Yes! Me! Lucky lucky me! I entered a giveaway over at Silver Pebble and when I won, lovely Emma let me choose the colour of my prize....
Isn't it just the most delicate and delicious pendant? Thank-you Emma! I'm tickled pink. It is beautiful. And I also love the lavender bottle which was in the parcel. I used to make these with the flowers in my grandma's garden, I would use ric rac braid and spend afternoons winding round and round to make the bottles for hanging in the wardrobe. Wonderful memories.
And yesterday I had another treat! I took myself off to the castle for an exhibition I have been desperate to see and for which I have only just found the time!
If you are able get there do take the opportunity! Much of the work is in private collections and so it is very rare to have such a treat as this! I was able to see two of my most favourite paintings! The lady with a bunch of Sweet Williams' which always makes me smile so I have a clipping of it on my pinboard in the workroom.
Isn't that so funny! And this beautiful picture, The apple pickers feast...
The notes at the exhibition were simple comments from Mary and added so much more to the pictures for me. And being able to see works full size is always a joy. She has a way of capturing the essence of what she sees, the movement, colour and stillness of her surroundings...
I would say her work is quintessentially English; for me she is up there with other creative women I admire; Winifred Nicholson, Vanessa Bell, Mary Fedden, Mary Wesley... can you guess that if I had ever had a little girl she might have been called Mary?
Whilst at the museum I took the opportunity again to make some quick sketches in their excellent applied arts galleries.
I only had the paper bag which came from the shop when I bought an exhibition catalogue but these are only scrappy notes; colours, forms, content.
I have been thinking of the things I have not made time for and wondering if I might make time between now and the next Fair in August.
This, this this and these little owls have all been neglected and I am itching to see them through! Added to which I've mentioned before that hubby is always lamenting that I stopped painting. I occasionaly have the guilts when I spy my inks hiding in a cupboard corner...
Each box holds up to a dozen little bottles of vibrant colour wanting to be meet paper!
So busy is what I shall be! Busy as a bee!
But first I am working hard to sort out my new online store! Thank-you to everyone who has asked about this. I shall have it up and running very soon. Photography is proving tricky - it's driving rain or full sunshine here! Often within 5 minutes of each other!
If you would like to be notified when my little shop opens, just drop me an email to hello@teenavallerine.co.uk
and I'll drop an email back to you when it does!
Have a lovely weekend everyone! t.x